Superbugs
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Superbug Smarts

Superbugs are strains of bacteria and other organisms that are resistant to the usual treatments. How much do you know about superbugs? Test your knowledge here.

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Question 1 of 20 Correct

What does antibiotic resistance mean?

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The correct answer is: Antibiotic resistance means that certain common medications that once killed disease-causing bacteria no longer work. This happens when bacteria mutate over time in ways that enable them to survive exposure to antibiotics. As a result, antibiotics lose their effectiveness in preventing or curing certain bacterial infections. This is what's known as antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Question 2 of 20 Correct

Approximately how many people in the U.S. become infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year?

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The correct answer is: At least two million people are sickened by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Question 3 of 20 Correct

Approximately how many people die each year from infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

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The correct answer is: The CDC reports that at least 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections.

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Question 4 of 20 Correct

Which of the following is not considered a superbug?

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The correct answer is: Group A strep (or Streptococcus pyogenes), the bacteria that cause strep throat and sometimes serious skin infections, is (for now) usually treated easily with antibiotics. But researchers have noted that it, too, is developing resistance and could become a superbug in the near future.

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Question 5 of 20 Correct

What causes bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics?

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The correct answer is: All of the above can cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.

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Question 6 of 20 Correct

Which of the following infections shouldn't be treated with antibiotics?

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The correct answer is: All of the above. These are all examples of viral infections and antibiotics cannot kill viruses.

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Question 7 of 20 Correct

In which of these places is MRSA most likely to be found?

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The correct answer is: About 30% of people have staph bacteria on their skin (especially armpits, belly button or groin) or in their nose, and about 2% of people carry MRSA at any given time. People can carry the bacteria for weeks or months without getting an infection, but their risk is higher, and they can spread the bacteria to others.

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Question 8 of 20 Correct

Washing your hands frequently is one way you can protect yourself from superbugs. How long do you need to wash your hands in order to kill germs?

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The correct answer is: Wash your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds to remove germs from your skin. This equates to the amount of time it would take to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.

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Question 9 of 20 Correct

True of false: Antibiotic soaps are one good way to prevent infection.

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The correct answer is: This is false. Household soaps with antibacterial chemicals like triclosan or triclocarbon aren't any better at preventing infection than other products. In fact, antibiotic soaps may actually promote antibacterial resistance. Your best bet is to wash your hands with regular soap. When that's not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60-95% alcohol.

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Question 10 of 20 Correct

What's the best way to clean countertops to prevent the spread of superbugs and other bacteria?

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The correct answer is: Chlorine bleach is a highly effective way to kill most — but not all — bacteria, including some strains of superbug E. coli. To make your own solution, mix 1 tablespoon (to sanitize) to 1/4 cup (to disinfect) of bleach with 1 gallon of water. Make sure you wash your kitchen counters with soap and water first, then apply the bleach with a sponge. Instead of wiping the bleach off, let it sit for two minutes so that it air dries.

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Question 11 of 20 Correct

True or false: One of the main ways MRSA spreads in a community is by coughing.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected wound, or by sharing things like towels, razors or bedding that may have touched the skin of someone infected with the bacteria.

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Question 12 of 20 Correct

Who is most prone to catching MRSA?

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The correct answer is: Patients in the hospital are in greatest danger of contracting a life-threatening MRSA infection because they have weakened immune systems. However, MRSA has now spread so that is also acquired in communities -- notably in day care settings and gyms and by athletes who play team sports. Children may acquire it when the staph bacteria enters a cut or wound. The bacteria is spread when the child touches and contaminates toys and other surfaces. Those who play contact sports are also at risk of MRSA infection, either through direct skin-to-skin contact on the field with someone who is infected or by sharing contaminated towels or athletic equipment.

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Question 13 of 20 Correct

True or false: You can get MRSA from your pet.

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The correct answer is: This is true. Dogs and cats can be carriers of diseases like MRSA and meningitis. Although the risk is small, you should still be careful to wash your hands after handling your pet.

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Question 14 of 20 Correct

Which essential oil has been found to effectively prevent the spread of MRSA?

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The correct answer is: Research suggests that tea tree oil, an essential oil with antibacterial properties, may work as well as standard antiseptics at killing MRSA on the skin. That could help prevent the spread of the superbug and stave off infection. It's available as a shampoo and body wash.

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Question 15 of 20 Correct

What are the most common symptoms of C. difficile?

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The correct answer is: C. difficile is a superbug that causes severe diarrhea and intestinal problems. Most people who contract it are already taking antibiotics to treat another condition. But antibiotics also kill good germs for several months, leaving you open to infection. People receiving treatment for a medical condition may contract C. difficile by touching items or surfaces that are contaminated with the bacteria, or from the hands of healthcare providers carrying the bacteria.

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Question 16 of 20 Correct

Which group is most commonly prescribed antibiotics?

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The correct answer is: Children have the highest rates of antibiotic use. This is a problem because when antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily, it increases the chance for bacteria to mutate and become resistant to the drugs -- creating superbugs.

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Question 17 of 20 Correct

True or false: We could one day enter into a "post-antibiotic era."

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The correct answer is: This is true. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we could eventually enter into what WHO experts call a post-antibiotic era -- a time period where common infections will start killing people because antibiotics will no longer be effective.

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Question 18 of 20 Correct

How many superbugs currently pose urgent health threats in the U.S.?

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The correct answer is: Three, although that number could grow. According to the CDC, Clostridium difficile, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the bacteria that cause gonnorhea) pose the most serious and urgent superbug health threats in the U.S. Another 15 superbugs are listed as serious or concerning threats.

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Question 19 of 20 Correct

What should you take with antibiotics to help protect your body from C. difficile?

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The correct answer is: Since antibiotics also kill "good" bacteria, it's smart to take probiotics with them. When you wipe out your good bacteria, C. diff can take over, causing diarrhea. Probiotics can help restore your gut flora and possibly prevent C. diff.

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Question 20 of 20 Correct

Which of the following can individuals do to help stop the spread of superbugs?

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The correct answer is: All of the above. Not overusing antibiotics, building up your immunity through vaccinations and washing your hands frequently can all help prevent the spread of superbugs.

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Superbugs

Superbugs

Superbugs sound scary -- and they are. A superbug is a strain of bacteria that can no longer be killed with an antibiotic -- they become antibiotic resistant, or drug resistant. Some common infections and conditions that may becom...

e untreatable include MRSA, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, E. coli and meningitis. Find out what you need to know to protect yourself and your family from superbugs, avoid infection and stay healthy.
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